The Quest For The Perfect Marshmallow

The Quest For The Perfect Marshmallow

You know, the older I get the more I love the fall.

There are very few times in the year more splendid than the month of October.  I could give you a laundry list of reasons.  I won’t though.  There are too many.



campfireToday I was wandering around the yard watching our two year old Landan jump into a pile of leaves I had raked together for him.  The temperature was just about as close to perfect as you could ever wish to see, and I instinctively began thinking about all of the wonderful reasons that I love this time of year.

Watching two year olds jump into leaves is certainly one.  Remembering being a child and doing the same thing is another.

While I watched him frolic and laugh with all the vigor he could muster, I started thinking about other fall activities we could possibly enjoy together.

I immediately thought that a fire in the fire pit would be amazing.  On such a perfect day, the nighttime would promise to be even better, and I love the smell of a wood fire in the Autumn.  I thought also that the kids would probably love to roast some marshmallows so we set the plan in action.

Right about sunset our daughter Hannah, son Landan and myself set out on our journey.

But before we went to the fire (which I had started about an hour earlier) we had to light the jack-o-lanterns we had carved the night before.  Landan loves pumpkins more than just about anything on this earth, and getting to help light them just made his day.


We made our way down to the fire and my prediction about the weather was spot on.  The cool air came in and the fire comforted us with the right amount of warmth.

Now, it was time to roast the perfect marshmallow.

roasting marshmallowsHannah and I struggled one after the other trying to achieve an ample amount of roasting and melting without any

burning.  Most of the night we were too far one way or the other.   Landan doesn’t care for cooked “Meah O’hs” (as he calls them) but loves them right out of the bag.

To each his own.  We all had a blast.  Yet for some reason, no matter how hard we tried, the perfect marshmallow eluded us all night.

We pressed on but the night began to wane and before long it was time to make our way back into the house.

Before we left I soaked in the moment.  The crisp fall air, the crackling fire, bright jack-o-lanterns.  Two young kids smiling over a fresh-roasted slice of life.
It was one of those moments I will cherish forever.  A special time of year with special people.   The kind of moment you look back on and long to be able to touch just one more time.   And that’s okay.  That’s what makes it special.  We had today, and that is enough.

No, we never did manage to discover the secret to a perfect roasted marshmallow, but I think we just may have found the recipe for a perfect day.

Another Repurposed Chest – This Time Into A Bookcase!

Another Repurposed Chest – This Time Into A Bookcase!

Angie and I got our hands on this old chest of drawers that was actually just a chest in that there were NO DRAWERS when we got it.

It was pretty clear that this piece of furniture’s days as a chest of drawers were over and it had few options for life beyond it’s initial purpose.

Well, of course you all know that we love a good challenge so we talked about whether or not this piece had any repurposing potential and, being major lovers of reading and books, the idea that this would make a wonderful bookcase came to our minds.

The chest is really beautiful and made of all solid woods so we didn’t want to see it go to waste.

***THE I BLEW IT MOMENT:  I guess in ever project there is always some sort of moment where you blow it in some way or another.  On this one I (Chris that is!) forgot to take pictures of the chest before we started working on it.   I really hate that I did that because you won’t be able to appreciate what this thing looked like when we got it.  It had no back, no bottom and still had the drawer slides.  The before picture below is from during the restoration when I realized I had forgotten to take the pictures.

Better luck for me next time.  Let’s move on.

Anyway, we set to work on it.   We added a bottom, a back, removed the drawers slides, and added shelves and got a really wonderful bookcase when all was said and done.

Well, here is the final result and if you are interested this bookcase is for sale at our sales website

The bookcase is finished in a dark black/gray/purple tint called Last Black Rose from Color Place.  The interior and shelves are finished in a regal red from Glidden.  The case is moderately distressed and accented with white, gray and black highlights.

Make sure you share the photos on your social sites and join our newsletter for tons of cool information!

Angie and Chris

distressed chest turned into bookcase

distressed chest turned into bookcase


distressed chest turned into bookcase

distressed chest turned into bookcase

distressed chest turned into bookcase

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Chest Of Drawers Turned Into A Bench And Toybox

Chest Of Drawers Turned Into A Bench And Toybox

Well friends here is our latest furniture distressing project.  This was a little different from some of our previous work as we had to do some re-purposing for this one.

We had an old chest of drawers that was sitting around in storage and was starting to feel the strain of the years.

This was actually the dresser Chris had as a child in his bedroom, and we had used it for a few years after getting married but we ran out of room and use for it so it got stored away.

After doing some brainstorming we decided to repurpose the old chest into something a little more amazing.

It was Angie’s idea and we LOVE how it turned out.  It is going to make some little girl very happy.

We took the Skil Saw to it and after MANY tedious but extremely fun hours of work we turned it into a toybox/bench

This is perfect for a little girl’s room for sitting and storing.

Please let us know what you think!   Leave a comment, Pin it and Share it.  Thanks for stopping by

Angie and Chris

Distressed dresser turned into bench/toybox

Distressed dresser turned into bench/toybox

Distressed dresser turned into bench/toybox

Distressed dresser turned into bench/toybox

Distressed dresser turned into bench/toybox

Chest Turned Into Bench/Toybox

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Bedroom Night Stand

Bedroom Night Stand

Well, here is the last piece that we have so far.  Much more to come!  If you missed the previous two posts on the gray bedroom furniture here is what we’re doing:

Angie and I have just started working on a little distressed furniture project in our bedroom.  We’re taking our time and just doing one piece here and there as time permits.

The walls of the room are a rich cranberry red so after looking through a bunch of colors we decided on (what I call) a Confederate gray.

These were all done using the dry brush method.  Click here to see our tutorial on how we do this:  Dry Brush Method Tutorial

Angie has already completed the first three pieces and we’re going to be sharing them in 3 posts now and in subsequent posts as we complete them.

Thanks for coming by.  Be sure to leave a comment and Share and PIN any pictures you like!


night stand before

night stand


night stand before and after

Dry Brush Method

Dry Brush Method

Well, if you saw our recent post called “An Old Blue Chair” then you have already seen the chair we are going to talk about in this tutorial.

We painted this chair using a technique called the “dry brush” method and it really is an amazing way to add a beautifully distressed patina to a piece of furniture.

We found this old chair in a barn.  It’s a very simple laminate chair but we thought it would make a good test cases for dry brushing.

old chair before



* Chalk Paint :  You can buy the Annie Sloan version or you can make your own using the easy recipe we use.  Get the free recipe here: Chalk Paint Recipe

-You will need two colors.  On this we used a Williamsburg blue and a basic pure white latex.  You can also use additional colors if you wish.  On this one we decided on only two.

*Paint Brushes

* Finishing Wax (or other finishing material such as polyurethane).  We actually made our own dark wax on this one and we’ll be sharing the recipe in a future post.  However, you can use a basic wax like Minwax furniture paste.

*Sand paper, steel wool, electric sander, etc for distressing.  We just went with good old sandpaper on this in about 120 grit.

* Clean Dry Cloths



The first step was to simply clean the chair up of all the dirt and debris.  No other prep was needed on this piece.


Next, we painted the entire chair in our base color.  Which color you choose to put on first is up to you and according to what look you are going for but we were really pleased in how the dark color on first and dry brushing the lighter color on top turned out.

After the chair dried it was time to begin dry brushing the white on.

Now, when we say dry brush we mean it!  The drier your brush is the better.

Here’s how you do it:

Barely dip the edge of the brush just on the surface of the paint.  Using the paint on the lid of the can is a good idea also

   Wipe the brush with a paint rag of some sort.  Wipe it really good until you brush is very dry.  It’s probably best to test it on a scrap piece of wood or something similar to make sure it’s not too wet.

What you are trying to achieve with this technique is the look of old paint showing through a newer coat.  You don’t want thick, wet brush strokes or the effect will be greatly diminished or even ruined.

With the “dry” brush begin lightly brushing the piece in the areas you want it to look distressed.  Remember you can always do more later so start slow.  You will begin to get a feel for the brush as you go.

It’s always a good idea to do a little, step back and look and then go again.  You will know what looks right when you see it!

On this piece we first focused on curves and edges to really bring the white paint out.

On the back beams and legs a light up and down motion gave the best effect.


***TIP:  A great little tip for getting an authentically worn look around curved areas is to take the flat part of the brush and lightly go around the area in a downward motion as we did on the rim of the seat (see picture)


Well, after we finished with the dry brushing of the white it was time to let it sit and dry.

Here was the chair after drying and before waxing

before waxing



Next we added a little distressing to the chair to really give it an authentic look.  Just using sandpaper we went around focusing on distressing the edges, corners, ridges and raised areas.



Now, we mentioned earlier that we used a dark wax that we made ourselves.   We’ll be updating this post with the recipe in the near future but until then you can use a clear wax or buy a dark wax like the one that Annie Sloan sells.



After the wax was applied, dried and buffed out here is the newly old blue chair!

after waxing



Now it has a new home and provides a sitting area for our favorite monkey’s favorite monkey 🙂

distressed chair


Well, let us know what you think.   Please leave a comment and be sure to if you like it.

Thanks guys.   We hope you have as much fun as we did.

Angie and Chris

How To Make Chalk Paint

How To Make Chalk Paint

How to Make Chalk Paint – 3 Amazing Homemade Chalk Paint RecipesHow to Make Chalk Paint

Well, if you haven’t heard about Chalk Paint chances are you will soon.  Everyone seems to be talking about it and for good reason.  We’re gonna talk a little bit about it and then we’re gonna show you how to make chalk paint .  Let’s go!

What Is Chalk Paint?

Chalk Paint was designed by Annie Sloan and is a formula paint that is designed to go on nearly anything you could ever wish to paint on the inside or outside with no prepping or sanding.  It covers easily, dries quickly and helps you achieve a beautiful patina that is perfect for distressing with very little time and effort.

Chalk paint goes on smooth, dries very quickly and is easily sanded to distress your piece for a well-worn look.  It is called chalk paint because it covers the piece with a soft, chalky patina that is perfect for creating an exceptional antique look.

The problem is that it’s a little pricey at $34.95 and up/ quart.  However, the other wonderful thing about chalk paint is that it is also very easy and inexpensive to make yourself.

There are quite a few different ways to make chalk paint, and everyone has their own preference for which one works best for them.  We are going to give you the 3 most popular chalk paint recipes.  The directions below show you the steps for how to make chalk paint with the Plaster of Paris, but the directions are essentially the same for each recipe.

We will first show you the Plaster of Paris recipe, and how to make it.  Then below you can find the recipe for how to make chalk paint with Baking Soda and with Unsanded Grout

Plaster of Paris

TIP:  DAP makes a great Plaster of Paris product 

How to Make Chalk Paint with Plaster of Paris - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes-500px


chalk paint plaster of paris

First you mix the plaster and water together until you get a smooth consistency with no lumps.

plaster of paris mixturechalk paint recipes

Next you will need 1 cup of pre-measured latex paint.   We recommend using a quality latex like Valspar.

TIP: A good quality latex paint can make your project shine

Next  pour the plaster and water mixture into the paint and stir well until all of the mixture is dissolved with no lumps; make sure the paint is as smooth as before.


The paint will appear at first no different than the basic latex paint you had before, but when the chalk paint dries on the furniture you will begin to see that faint, aged and chalky patina that you are looking for.

You can double the recipe for a quart of paint, quadruple for a 1/2 gallon and so forth.

**Important Note:  You can always add more or less plaster to suit your taste as well.  This recipe is a conservative one.  If you want a more chalky finish then add some more plaster.  If you want less then add less.  Just experiment and have fun.

Don’t forget that this stuff dries fast!  If you are working on a big project where the paint will be exposed for a long period of time, think about pouring just what you need to paint with into cups to hold while you paint.  This will keep the rest of your paint from getting too thick too fast.

If it does start getting thick you can add a little water to loosen it up but just add slowly until it smooths out a little to keep your consistency…..well……..consistent!

Now that you know how to make chalk paint you can easily use your new found skills to try other chalk paint recipes.  Here are two more for your to test.  There is no right or wrong recipe.  Each has its own differences and each may be preferable depending on your project.

Baking Soda

How to Make Chalk Paint with Baking Soda - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes-500px

Unsanded Grout

TIP:  Use a good quality unsanded grout such as the one from Mapet.  It is the one we use in our paint projects.

How to Make Chalk Paint with Unsanded Grout - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes 500px

You now have chalk paint to make your very own distressed furniture creations.  Check the tutorials for how to apply it and get that distressed furniture look.

Good Luck!  Let us know how it turns out and if you have any questions.

**Update: If you are interested in seeing our take on other homemade chalk paint recipes be sure to check out our latest guide: The Definitive Guide To Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes

Before you leave, if you want a really cool and free infographic with all three chalk paint recipes.  Feel free to check it out below.

It is easily shareable and will look great on your Pinterest boards, so feel free to use it just make sure you link back to us!

How to Make Chalk Paint - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes-1_edited-500x1300

Learn how to antique furniture with antique glaze or wood stain with our free tutorial